High Knees

Week #13 (Push Up Level 4)

Here is Week #13 – DAYS 1, 3 & 5.

My nephew Peter is demonstrating.

For this next progression, the Low Incline Push Up (Level 4)  your body is aligned as it was when you learned the Wall Press followed by the Incline Push Up (Level 1).

Remember that the level of intensity increases as the incline decreases.  Notice that Peter is in the Plank position with his hands on a low incline. Find a low bench, use a stair, coffee table, bed frame or other.  Just be sure to find a sturdy surface to work from.  Plan it out the night before so that you’re not scrambling in the morning. Peter’s chest lines up with his hands as before in all the progressions.

DAYS 1, 3 & 5 (week #13)

1. 50 High Knees (pumping arms or forearms parallel to the ground or holding chest)

2. 8 LOW Incline PUSH UP in Plank                                                                                             (Level 4 = hands on a low bench, stair, coffee table, bed frame)

3. Repeat circuit 4 times to equal 4 Rounds.

INSTRUCTIONS: Hinging from your toes, notice how the legs, hips, torso and head are static.  The only movement comes from the wrist, elbow and shoulder joints.  If you are unable to maintain this rigid form, then go back to the modified Push Up Levels 2 or  3. The difference with Level 4 Low Incline Push Up and Level 3, is that you are now in Plank Position hinging from the toes and I have raised your incline to off-set the intensity with the intention to maintain mechanical integrity.

MOST COMMON ERROR: Poking the head forward like a pigeon or collapsing at the lower back.  Imagine a plank of wood fixed to your back, originating from the back of the heels all the way to the back of the head.  Hinge forward as a solid unit.  I would rather see you do a quarter or half push up as a solid unit than bending the elbows all the way with poor technique.  Eventually, attempting to tap the chest to the bench NOT the nose.  If you aim with your nose you will likely poke the head forward like the pigeon.  Think of gently retracting your navel in the direction of your spine, just enough to gently engage your abdominals to support the natural curvature of the spine.  You are NOT trying to flatten your back against this imaginary plank of wood.  Take a good look at Peter’s back and you will notice the natural curves of the spine.


DAYS 2, 4 & 6 = [50 High Knees + 20 Bend Down & Reach Up with Toe Raise] x 4. For reference click on this link:  http://youasamachine.com/about-4-minute-mornings/week-3/videoweek3-day-7/

DAY 7 = [50 High Knees + 10 Half Squat] x 4. For reference click on this link:      http://youasamachine.com/about-4-minute-mornings/week-8/




It is not uncommon to want to skip ahead to get to the “juicier” exercises.  Have patience. The rewards are in the journey.  At anytime you can repeat the same week until you feel ready to move on to the next progression.  Not everyone will be ready to progress at the same rate.  Do not feel defeated should it take longer to move on to the next week.


The following is an outline of the progressions for the Push Up:   1) Wall Press

2) Incline Push Up (Level 1 = hands on counter top or back of couch etc.)

3) Modified Low Incline Push Up (Level 2 = knees bent on floor with hands on bench, stair or coffee table etc.)

4) Modified Push Up (Level 3= knees bent on floor with hands on floor)

5) Low Incline Push Up (Level 4= hands on bench with body in Plank position)

6) Push Up (Level 5= FULL PUSH UP!  From Plank position) coming soon!

 Self-discipline is born from being Consistent.

video.Week#4-DAYS 1,3,5& 7

Here is Week #4 – DAYS 1, 3, 5 & 7

My nephew Peter is demonstrating.

Introducing the WALL PRESS, which is the first progression for the Push Up.  In this upright position the exercise is the least weight bearing on joints and muscles, which allows us to focus on form in preparation for the next progression.


Standing arm distance from the wall.  Keep body in a straight line, from the top of head to feet.  Hinge forward from the ankles.

Begin with arms parallel to the floor (between chest and shoulder height).  Finger tips will be touching the wall.  Tip forward from the ankles (NOT the waist).  First the wrist will flex as the palms of the hands become flat on the wall (fingers pointing upward), elbows will flex and point downward to the floor.  As the body nears the wall, the hands will now be in front of the shoulders.  Reverse the movement to return to starting position. Repeat.

DAYS 1, 3, 5 & 7 (week #4)

1.  50 High Knees (pumping arms or forearms parallel to ground or hold chest)


3.  Repeat circuit 4 times to equal 4 Rounds.

DAYS 2, 4 & 6 (week #4)
1.  50 High Knees (pumping arms or forearms parallel to ground or hold chest)

2.  20 Bend Down & Reach Up with Toe Raise

3.  Repeat circuit 4 times to equal 4 Rounds.


Be sure to alternate workouts each day, to give the arms a chance to recover.


Stretch Your Body:  With straight arms clasp your hands behind your hips, gently lift the arms away from the hips.  Feel the stretch across the chest and front of the arms. Tricep Stretch: Reach right arm straight up to ceiling.  Bend the elbow so the right hand lowers behind the head towards the upper back.  With the left hand hold the right elbow and gently pull the right elbow towards the head.  Feel the stretch along the back of the right upper arm.  Repeat on the left side.

Week #5 will show the next two progressions.

video/Week#3-DAYS 3 & 6

Here is the video for Week #3 – DAYS 3 & 6.

My nephew Peter is demonstrating.

Introducing slightly bigger hops.  Similar to Day 2, only this time the toe will no longer make contact with the floor.  Make your toe come 1 to 6 inches from the floor.  Even if your toe still touches the floor, at least make it a light touch.  If this is too difficult, then stick with the Ground Toe Taps from Day 2.

Days 3 & 6 (week #3)

1.  50 Step Height Toe Taps/ or half-way up High Knees

2.   20 Bend Down & Reach Ups with Toe Raise

3.   Repeat circuit 4 times to equal 4 rounds total.

Note: If you’re not ready to do 4 rounds of this, then do what feels right.  Make your own modifications.  For example you might try to do the first round as Peter does it, then for the second round you might do the Ground Toe Taps from Day 2 (week#3).  For round 3 you might go back to Marching on the Spot from Day 1 (week#3) and finally for round 4 you might try to do the Step Height Toe Taps from the first round.
For comfort, ladies may want to wear a sports bra for the hopping exercises.
Alternately, just hold on to Thelma and Louise and get it done!
Let me know what your 4 Minute Morning variation looks like.
See  you tomorrow for the last progression, DAY 7: High Knees.